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Rebranding skillveri

skillveri-logo-rebrandingToday, skillveri is four years old. We take a moment to look back at the distance we have come, and more importantly, the path ahead.

We have certainly grown a lot from where have started – As a product, the Aura Welding Simulator has evolved way past its nascent stages. It is now successfully used in so many esteemed institutions and industries all over the country.  As a Team, we have expanded, having people with diverse skillsets, representing us across many locations.

Growth always brings along with it change. skillveri is all set to see major changes in the coming months – both in our product, and in our company on the whole. As an important step in these changes, we are happy to announce that we are doing a major rebranding.

skillveri’s company logo has undergone a complete revamp and comes with a fresh new look – yet retaining our core philosophy of a soaring spirit, and helping people develop the skills needed for their careers and lives to take wing.

We will be rolling out the new logo across our website, social media channels, and all official communication, starting today. We hope you like it, and continue to show your support as you always have – we have many more goals to score and miles to go in our journey ahead.

 

Systemic Challenges in Skill Development

As a tech-entrepreneur working in the skill development space and being focused on making an impact on skills that require working with hands, I often get exposed to the limits technology has in making impact unless the blocks inherent to the system are removed. The government is certainly taking steps in the right direction, with the Prime Minister remarking during the launch of Skill India that he wants to see India being known for its ITIs like it is now known for its IITs.

Two back-to-back articles by journalist @yatishrajawat articulated these system challenges excellently. In an article for FirstPost, he nails the aspirational issues with working with hands:

…skills are not for those who cannot complete education. Skills are for everyone who is seeking a job and is not afraid of working with their hands.

The biggest challenge today is that those who work with their hands do not want their children to do the same. Somehow it has gone into our culture that working with hands is a poorer way to earn a living.

In another article for the BusinessWorld he further elaborates on aspects that the industry needs to urgently address, rather than wait for the government to solve:

One of the biggest issue with skilled workers who work with their hands as compared to the rest of the labour force that taps out their living on a keyboard is working conditions. Companies never think about giving these workers a workplace as the site is there work place. As a result they are expose to he elements, their canteens are in the open, the relieve themselves in makeshift or open toilets. They are not considered equal to an employee who works in the head office. And this shows in the variance in the salary too.

Personally I have seen this happen first hand at many industries.  At a site of one of India’s leading construction companies, the tower crane operators are paid Rs 16,000/month for daily 12 hours shift. One has to vertically climb 50 meters height on a ladder, and there are no loo-breaks. No air-conditioning in the 3′ by 3′ cabin. There is no formal training institute for tower crane operators, and one has to slog for 4 years as informal apprentices before one gets the opportunity to become an operator. This, for a skill that is so critical that if an operator makes a mistake, the accident can kill/injure a lot of people.

When it comes to more niche skills like operating earth preparation / tunneling equipment, the machines cost crores of rupees, and every hour of not operating it turns out to lakhs of rupees of revenue lost to the owner of the machine. Therefore the operators earn about Rs 60,000/- per month. The HR head of a company employing these operators was ruing this – “they earn as much as my project managers”. Well, there’s nothing stopping the project managers from learning to operate these machines and earn similar! Just that the white collared tend to trivialize many of these skills (“what’s there to learn?”).

And if you speak to the workmen, they (mostly rightly) say that the management does not care for them. The community of white collars and the community of blue collars see each other with distrust. Both sides fail to realize that the other side brings a complementary skill that is equally important. We need to bring about a culture of mutual respect, for the skill development scenario to change significantly.

As Yatish sums it up in his BusinessWorld article, “Till corporates treat workers as Karamveer, karmath, assets of the company no skill building initiative will work in the country”. Technology can help only if the mindsets change.

Demo of AURA MIG Welding Simulator to Rajasthan CM Ms. Vasundhara Raje.

The year began on a good note for Team skillveri !

We had the opportunity of demonstrating the Aura Welding Simulator to the Hon.Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ms.Vasundhara Raje. We are honoured that Ms. Raje took the time amidst her busy schedule to try out the simulator herself.

As the demand for welding skills is growing exponentially in sectors like manufacturing and automobiles, we hope that the youth of Rajasthan soon get to benefit from using modern technology for skill development.

Demo of Aura Welding Simulator to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.
Demo of Aura Welding Simulator to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.
Demo by skillveri to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.
Demo by skillveri to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.
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Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje tries out the AURA MIG Welding Simulator.

 

 

The demo of the AURA Welding Simulator to the CM was also covered in the country’s leading Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar.

Coverage of skillveri Demo to Rajasthan CM in Dhainik Bhaskar
Coverage of skillveri Demo to Rajasthan CM in Dhainik Bhaskar

Is Welding going the Sanskrit way?

The more I attend seminars and gatherings related to welding, the more I get the feeling that welding is at the risk of going the Sanskrit way – a scenario where there are far more number of scholars than speakers.

This is not to diminish the contribution of scholarly and academic work to the field of welding. To increase the impact of these scholarly works, we need to ensure that there are enough practitioners of welding out there who would benefit from the scholarly work.

At the moment, there is a huge shortage of actual welders. Something has to be done on a war-footing to address this, including usage of simulators, and running awareness campaigns on welding as a career option. Last but not least, all of us need to work towards eliminating the stigma normally associated with work done with hands.

skillveri's AURA MIG Welding Simulator installed in Assam.

skillveri’s most recent installation has also been our easternmost one in the country so far ! Our Aura MIG Welding Simulator has been installed in Digboi, Assam, where our team had been to earlier this week, working in association with LabourNet India.

We’re very happy that Shri Rameswar Teli, MP from Assam, inaugurated and tried out Aura  ! 

Here are some images sent in by our team from Digboi, Assam – 

skillveri's AURA Simulators at Assam
Shri Rameshwar Teli, MP from Assam, viewing AURA MIG Welding Simulators at the inauguration at Digboi, Assam.
skillveri's AURA MIG Welding Simulator at Digboi, Assam
Shri Rameswar Teli, MP from Digboi, Assam viewing skillveri’s AURA along with officials from CII & IOCL.

 

skillveri's AURA at the Rural Education, Vocational Training & Micro Entrepreneurship Expo

skillveri participated in the Rural Education, Vocational Training & Micro Entrepreneurship Expo on August 12th & 13th 2014. Our stall held demos of the AURA MIG Welding Simulator, which drew lots of enthusiastic crowds. It was heartening to see the eagerness shown by the youngsters to learn more about welding, as the potential demand for such vocational skills is expected to grow manifold in the years to come.

The event was organised by Puthiya Thalaimurai Foundation, an NGO working for youth development and rural education. It was held at the Government ITI Campus, Guindy, Chennai on Aug12&13th.

Here are a couple of images from the event –

ptf2
The skillveri stall at the Rural Education and Vocational Training Expo organised by Puthiya Thalaimurai Foundation
ptf1
A section of the crowd checking out the AURA MIG Welding Simulator by skillveri !

 

 

skillveri in Economic Times

Today’s Economic Times covered skillveri in a full page special feature on Social Entrepreneurs titled “Where are the entrepreneurs?” Attaching a summary image of the coverage with this post.

skillveri Coverage in Economic Times, 15 May 2014
skillveri’s Coverage in Economic Times, 15 May 2014

Good to see RTBI’s Director Suma Prashant, and Villgro CEO Paul Pasil among many known entrepreneurs mentioned in the article.

Why Mechanical Engineers Need to Know Welding

“Engineers do not need to be hands-on, they work at supervisory levels” is soon turning out to be a myth, especially with the manufacturing and production industries. When companies from Automotive/Manufacturing are going to engineering college campuses for placements, they are increasingly looking at engineers who are hands-on.

For example, many of these companies are now asking for familiarity with welding processes and quality issues, when hiring from the mechanical / production / automotive / industrial streams. With quality becoming an important differentiation for companies vying for the global market, the engineers recruited to be in charge of manufacturing shop floors are expected to identify not just the defects, but also understand the root cause and then recommend/demonstrate a solution.

Though most engineering colleges have a mechanical workshop/lab course on welding, the syllabus is so outrageously outdated that no industry worth its name finds the knowledge useful. It is in such scenarios that welding simulators like skillveri AURA can be extremely useful to bridge the gap between syllabus and what industry wants.

Some of the reputed engineering colleges have already started reaping the benefits during the placement season.

welding 1

How simulators make a paradigm shift

“Don’t practice till you can get it right

Practice till you can’t get it wrong” – Anonymous

This quote is particularly true for hands-on vocational skills. The more you practice, the better skilled you become. Keeping this in context, just take a look at a page in the Welder Trade Theory textbook:

Welder Trade Theory - preventing practice
A page from the textbook “Welder Trade Theory”

This is where simulators like AURA bring about a paradigm shift. Since the cost of incremental practice is close to zero you can indeed practice till you can’t get it wrong.

skillveri founder L.Kannan chosen for Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT-Madras

Hearty Congratulations to L.Kannan on being chosen for the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2014, from the entire skillveri Team !

skillveri founder L.Kannan is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras. He has been chosen to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award this year from his alma mater.

The awardees are chosen from among alumni who have made the institute proud with their outstanding achievements, and we are extremely happy and proud that Kannan is among those chosen by IIT Madras for the year 2014.  The award is expected to be given as part of the Institute Day in April 2014.

skillveri founder L.Kannan is chosen for the Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT-M for 2014
skillveri founder L.Kannan is chosen for the Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT-M for 2014

Find the list of other awardees here .

Do join us in congratulating Kannan by leaving your message here in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.